Upon hearing the news that 59-year-old Matt Lauer’s wife left the country with the kids, this on the heels of his firing from “Today” last week in disgrace due to allegations of sexual harassment, the New York Post’s Page Six has speculated that something has always been off about their marriage.
“No one could understand why the blushing bride had her dashing husband on such a tight leash,” the story began, going into a 1998 incident involving Annette Roque possibly being concerned about Lauer’s “wandering eye” just five weeks after they were married.
“Five weeks after their chic Hamptons wedding in 1998, former model Annette Roque kicked up such a fuss on hearing that Matt Lauer was headed to Florida to cover a space shuttle launch for the ‘Today’ show that NBC staffers had to scramble to get her a set of last-minute press credentials so her husband would never be out of her sight,” Page Six said. “But, in hindsight, Roque, now 52, simply may have been trying to rein in her new husband’s wandering eye — a problem that, two decades later, would cost him his job.”
Roque was also described in the story as “reclusive,” “waifish,” “painfully frail,” and a “phantom” who “doesn’t exist.”
Earlier in the day, we reported on rumors that Roque had reacted to the news of Lauer’s firing by taking the couple’s two younger kids out of school and leaving the country.
The couple has three children together.
We already knew that Roque filed for divorce as early as 2006, at the time citing “mental abuse, extreme mental and emotional distress, humiliation, torment, and anxiety.” Page Six explained the withdrawal of that filing through a rumored $5 million payout, which an unnamed source said may have happened to preserve Lauer’s “America’s nicest dad” image.
But, additional details of the arrangement say Lauer has since 2011 lived in Manhattan during the week for “Today,” and on the weekends returned to the home where his wife and kids lived in the Hamptons.
The news about Lauer apparently came as a shock to his ex-wife, Nancy Alspaugh.
Alspaugh reacted with shock to the news about the man she was married to from 1981 to 1988, saying she couldn’t imagine what he could have done to get fired.
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” she told “Entertainment Tonight.” “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job, and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him — that would have caused that reaction.”
“That’s why it’s so shocking, I think, for the people that really know him and really love him, and they want to get the good stuff out. I want to get out the fact that he made a contribution to my nonprofit, that he helped me when my husband died,” she added. “The selfless, giving part of him, which people tend to forget whenever this kind of a situation comes up. He would give you the shirt off his back if you really needed it. He did that for everybody. From the lowest person on set to, you know, the highest powers.”